This is our life. No dress rehearsal.

Sunday morning on the Montreal Metro

Finding beauty in the Montreal Metro


Duleepa Wijayawardhana

April 19, 2024

Every Metro station in Montreal is unique. Or so it seemed to me when I lived there.

Whenever I commuted on the Metro I would notice the tile work and the somewhat industrial concrete look of most of the stations. I won't pretend that the Montreal Metro is a "work of art". For that I suppose the St. Petersburg or Moscow Metro stations are reputedly the most beautiful in the world. However, the style of each station in Montreal told you where you are and had its own stylistic appeal.

When I lived there, I had always intended to ride the entire Metro, take in every station and maybe photograph each station. On a recent trip to Montreal, I decided to at least photograph some of the downtown stations on a loop of the orange and green Metro lines on a quiet Sunday morning.

I did learn a valuable civic lesson: It's actually against the STM bylaws of Montreal to photograph in Metro stations without permission. Which in 2024 seems a bit ridiculous considering everyone has a high-powered camera on their cellphones, but me with my SLR looked wildly conspicuous. This of course led to me being loudly shouted at by very friendly STM police officers. I do hope they enjoy these photos though, and maybe they will let me back someday to finish all the stations!

So now, I can say I've been fined for putting up posters in Montreal (during our St. Patrick's Drunk Dial days), ran down Saint Catherine's with a sandwich board hoping to avoid the advertising bylaw during Empire Avenue days and shouted at for taking photos in the Montreal Metro. Will I be allowed back in to Montreal?

For the record Atwater Metro station had very few redeeming qualities... at least inside.

Unless otherwise noted, everything you see here (words, photos, drawings, ideas) belong to Duleepa Wijayawardhana.
Opinions expressed belong to Duleepa Wijayawardhana and never one of his current or former employers.

© 1992-2024 Duleepa Wijayawardhana